Monday, June 10, 2013

Father's Day


Recently my book, Like Father, Like Sons, released. It was first a project to serve the numerous young, first-time parents at The Paradox Church. Through some encouragement and prodding we decided to publish it through Lucid Books.

It is largely focused on God as our Father, which is a very mis-understood doctrine: What kind of father is God? What is He like? What does He think of me?

Through this, I draw some implications into our parenting. I believe it is helpful, practical, and worshipful.

Would you consider sharing this with someone you think would benefit? Perhaps the book would make a good Father's Day gift. 

You can purchase the print version on Amazon here:

For only $0.99 until Father's Day you can purchase the Kindle version here:

As well, here are a few blog posts with excerpts from the book, including why a daddy of only 2 1/2 years wrote a book on parenting:

Thanks so much for your help! If you do read it, I hope it is a blessing to you.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The "S" Word

I have been studying and meditating on the topic of sin this week for a lesson I am teaching in my Home Group. Sunday morning sermons, fellowship with Christian brothers, and popular Christian books neglect the topic of sin greatly. Sin is either not talked about or it is equated with only a list of "don'ts". Here are some summarizing thoughts on sin:

1. Sin is not just doing something we shouldn't. That is the sin of commission. There is also the sin of omission - not doing something we should. Incidentally this was Adam's first sin and as sons of Adam men are prone to the sin of passivity.

2. Sin separates. It separates us from God. It separates us from others. It even separated (or broke) creation.

3. There is "fruit" sin and "root" sin. Understanding the difference is huge. Looking at porn is a fruit sin. That which motivates you to look at porn is the root sin. The root sin must be repented of or you will just be putting a band-aid on a broken bone.

4. Sin is not "out there". Sin is in your heart. Separatists will tell you to avoid certain people or places as if you might "catch" fornication like a cold. Should women dress modestly? Absolutely. But it is the wickedness in your heart that causes you to sin.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Church Plant

The Rooted Church is a new church plant that will start regular services this Sunday. Here is an excerpt from their blog:

The idea of starting a new church began in a coffee shop in West Fort Worth in 2007. Having lived in the city and worked in ministry for years, the Ostermanns had a deep appreciation for both the beauty and the brokenness that courses through the people of Fort Worth. Nick had never dreamed of planting a church in one of the most church-saturated regions of the country, but over time was compelled by the centrality of Jesus and the cross, the growth and strategic value of Fort Worth, and the unique and wonderful culture of the city. He was soon assessed and trained as a church planter by Acts 29, a church planting network. With a vision to display the greatness of God and the power of the gospel to make broken people whole, others began to gather around the idea of making Fort Worth an even better city.

In July 2008, with help from CityView Church in Keller and The Village Church in Highland Village, the first church plant meeting was held in borrowed space in downtown, where the vision of The Rooted Church was shared with a few interested people. Building the church on God, the gospel, and the city from the beginning, this group continued to meet in smaller weekly communities in order to share meals, share life, and to think seriously about how to continue the mission of Jesus in Fort Worth. Soon they started gathering once a month to sing, pray, and learn together.

In early 2009 we'll officially commit to one another in order to live out the vision of The Rooted Church. We'll continue our weekly communities and will start meeting together weekly on Sundays in downtown. So we're a pretty simple group of people: fighting to be centered on God, to be transformed by the gospel, and to love the people of our city.

Check them out at

Full Contact Theology is up and running...well kind of. The website is still in the works along with the blog. We haven't nailed down an opening Sunday night at the Ginger Man quite yet.

The blog is We will have regular articles and thoughts posted with the intention of facilating good discussion through the comments. Remember: this is full contact theology. Ask the tough questions, disagree with gusto, and be ready to back up your thoughts.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Theology At The Ginger Man

I spoke with a friend yesterday about doing a monthly theological and cultural discussion at the Ginger Man on Camp Bowie.

We would call it Full Contact Theology and we would have a speaker lecture on a topic and then facilitate a discussion or Q and A on it.

Basically we would encourage people to come out and ask the tough questions and hopefully foster some lively debate.

The Ginger Man is informally known as the thinking man's pub and would be a great place for it.
We will probably get started in late January.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

False Heaven

(Philippians 1:23) desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

If you were to ask most Christians what their reward is for being a follower of Christ most would say heaven. And in a sense they would be right. Heaven is a place that the Bible speaks of as our eternal reward, a place where there are no tears or sin.

Even our old school evangelism encouraged this: "if you were to die today do you know if you would go to heaven or hell?". Which is a weird way to evangelize if you think about it. Knocking on someone's door, "if I were to kill you right now, would you go to heaven."

And then inevitably the question gets asked. What will we do in heaven? Is there golf in heaven? Baseball? Grassy fields to run through? Lolipops?

And because heaven is the eternal end in mind, our teaching and lives are shaped around it. We preach sermons on 5 Ways to a Better Marriage and 3 Steps to a More Fulfilling Life. As Christians we live our lives using the Bible as a guidebook to a better life here on earth because we are practicing for the perfect life in heaven.

Now as you are reading this you might think, "but all that is true!". Yes, it is true, but it is incomplete.

Heaven is not the end. And the Bible shouldn't be used like a self-help book. Paul's desire is to depart and be with Christ - not to depart and go to heaven because they have baseball and lolipops.

In John 17:3 Jesus tells us what eternal life (heaven) is: "and this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."

Heaven is about knowing God. Knowing Him fully as you are fully known. God is our reward! We get Jesus. We are so skewed by sin that the thought of God being our reward doesn't seem to move us or excite us. But with the goal of seeking the face of God in place, all the other things - a good marriage, a fulfilling life - will happen. Sin is the ultimate enemy, not unhappiness or unfulfillment. And Jesus is the ultimate answer, not happiness or fulfillment.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Truth In Action

Its been said that Jesus is the fullness of the Old Testament offices - Prophet, Priest, and King.

Prophet in that He IS the truth, He proclaims the truth. He is the very Word of God. He casts vision and brings God to the people. Priest in that He is our Great High Priest - Counselor, Mediator, bringing the people to God. And King in that He is ruling and reigning forever. He has set in place the way of life and not just a way.

The church is also to be all three. Ephesians 1:23 states that the church is to be the fullness of Jesus. Ephesians 4:13 also states that as leaders we are to equip the saints to be the fullness of Christ.

So I was thinking about how this would play out in the various aspects of the vision for the church in Fort Worth. One family trait that we will be made up of is Truth. In a future post I will unpack that vision and how it looks more precisely but I want to take a quick overview of it now as it pertains to the church being prophet, priest, and king.

Through the preaching of the truth (prophet) and Christ-centered worship (prophet) will come the repentance and confession of sin. I am huge on dealing with your junk; going deep and being honest about the sins that have been committed against you - rape, abuse, neglect, etc - and the sin in your heart - lust, bitterness, unforgiveness.

Through the prophetic word of God a lot of hurt and junk and sin will be dug up. To properly care for and teach truth to all these new converts, it will take more teaching than Sunday morning can offer and good, hardcore biblical counseling and community. That will take kingly planning and authority.

The kings in the church (elders) will have to have systems and structures, and policies in place in order to properly care for and shepherd (priest) the flock.
I am big on counseling. But one problem I see with it is that most counselors are only priestly in nature, which is why you see people having to go to one for long, extended periods of time. Nothing ever really gets solved, but they get their fix. Counselors also need to be prophets - teaching truth to overcome the lies that the counselee is believing.

What must always be remembered is that truth finally dug up, sins confessed, lives transformed must never terminate on itself. It must always lead to the Truth, Jesus. It must always lead to the church being further on mission for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.